Essential Question: How can we adapt character education to the digital age, particularly to serve the purposes of developing digital citizenship awareness and K12 programs?
This week there was so much to look at. As educators we get so focused on the academics because they are pushed harder from higher up. Another goal of schools is to produce productive citizens after they graduate. To be productive students really need to learn how to just be "good people." In some homes parents are always working to make sure their kids learn character, but in other cases this may not happen. It then falls on the school to be sure we help mold students into people who will have good character.
With technology there is so much that is unanticipated. Sarah talked about how parents should be at the forefront when developing a child's character. It got me to thinking about how so many internet sites or apps pop up over night and popularity catches on like wildfire. I feel that when students are spending at least 7 hours a day or more at school it may be hard for parents to realize some of the sites or apps their child is using. I remember in college and even a couple of years ago so websites/apps popped up that encouraged people to write what was on their mind and they would be anonymous. I can't remember the names, but a quick google search will pull up many instances. After School was the first one I came across, and at first it was harmless. Quickly one person can change this, and things are hurtful. It's amazing how students can have filters when talking face-to-face but online, if there was a filter, it quickly disappears. We hide behind anonymity online.
This is where Erika's post rings true about the bullying and increase in student suicide. Students are just so self-centered for the most part. They only think about what will help themselves and not how their actions may impact others, at least this is a lot of what I see. I just wish there was more time for character education at the upper grades. So much of this gets pushed away because there is a curriculum to follow. I feel as if I am always behind so I am not sure where I would fit in much character education. I guess even snippets here or there would be better than nothing.
All this week it got me to thinking about where I could sneak in some character education when using technology. I do not have technology in my room, but there are a few carts and labs in the school. It got me to thinking about when I used Google classroom. When I use Google classroom for the first time, I have to explain the comments section. Otherwise, the comments will overflow with "hi" and similar useless conversation or someone will be mean to another student. This was something I didn't anticipate until I implemented classroom for the first time. Now I teach specifically how comments should be used and I ask students to use it appropriately. If not, they will be muted for a few weeks and I talk to them about it. I hate to mute them, but there has to be a natural consequence to their actions. I find that after explaining how to use the comments I don't have to mute that many students. Maybe just one or 2. This is only one example, but as guess as I run across things it is good to point out "positives" and "negatives" and ask for some student feedback as well.